The Adab of the Sufi Path

In his book, Discourses on the Sufi Path, Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order, lists some of the qualities that exemplify the etiquette and ethics (called the adab) that a darvish strives to achieve. Only when all of them are perfected within a darvish can he or she hope to attain the polished heart which reflects only God's Love, and be called a Sufi. Here is the list.

1.   The Sufi gives precedence to all of creation over himself.

2.   The Sufi is fair to all, yet expect fairness from no one

3.   The Sufi is kind and helpful to all, yet expects help and kindness  from no one.

4.    The Sufi is never self-centered or egocentric.

5.    The Sufi serves all of God’s creation.

6.    The Sufi always observes the rights of others.

7.    The Sufi loves all of God’s creatures.

8.    The Sufi praises all things created by God that are beautiful.

9.    The Sufi harbors no resentment against anyone and regards no one as an enemy.

10.  The Sufi takes the trouble to make things easy for others.

11.  The Sufi never speaks with an acid tongue, always being kind and respectful toward others.

12.  The Sufi is never pessimistic or depressed.

13.  The Sufi never feels offended by anyone.

14.  The Sufi neither complains about anyone nor claims anything for himself.

15.  The Sufi is never mean or envious.

16.  The Sufi never gets angry or harsh with anyone.

17.   The Sufi keeps any promises he has made, even if his life must be sacrificed.

Many of these seem impossible to attain, which is why the Sufi path of Love may take a lifetime to achieve. And this is only a partial list. May Allah guide us on the straight path.

Ya Haqq!

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14 Responses to The Adab of the Sufi Path

  1. Aaminah says:

    Asalaamu alaikum.

    JazakAllah khairun for the reminder of how very far I have to go. If I can even achieve one of those, at this point it would be wonderful. It is not pretty, but sometimes it is necessary for us to re-read these things and reflect on how far we are from these ideals so that we can get busy working on it!

  2. Indeed you are right, dear Sister. When I read them over, it occurs to me they are all aspects of love. Perhaps that is what a darvish has to learn in the truest sense, for the Sufi path really is about love. Then the answer to every question of how should I respond, or handle this situation, is “Do what love demands.” This, I think, is the heart of adab. The Truth is Love.

  3. Stranger says:

    Is a sufi, a person who he see’s him-self as? or wants to be as , Or is a Sufi what God wants him to be?

  4. Greetings of Peace Dear Friend Stranger :)
    No one who sees himself is a Sufi. The self is veil between God and the darvish, and only by constant remembrance of God does the heart open the door of love and behold the Truth.
    That’s a fancy way of saying that, as you put it, aSufi is what God wants him to be :)
    Now, how to get to the point where God wants him…that the purpose of putting up the 17 attributes in the post.
    Thanks for stopping by :)

  5. saly says:

    Salaam Irving, This is a very interesting and informative post. Thank you!

  6. Karen says:

    Salaam Irving ….

    Very nice blog. This List is a sobering reminder. I took the liberty of printing it out for includion in my daily journal. A very handy mirror.

    Karen ….. a visitor from “SWB” :)

  7. Mr Angry says:

    Seem impossible indeed. I think I am stumbling badly by number 11. A worthwhile set of goals laid out here.

  8. Stranger says:

    Peace & blessings of Allah (swt) be upon you O` who follows the path of Peace. :)
    indeed how to get to that point, There is always, always a starting point And many ppl who step upon the path fall at that, be it for whatever reason, maybe they are not ready, maybe they have misconceptions & wild assumptions of What sufism is, or what the path will be like. but non the less – The 1st step. There is always a starting point, Inshallah for your next post, Could you highlight how Man takes the initial step, how can Man throw away this cloak of dunya that engulfs him. What are the first few basic steps

  9. Tasmiya says:

    Excellent! I love this. I agree with Aaminah, we really need to read and re-read and reflect and put it into practice.

  10. Aaminah says:

    Asalaamu alaikum.

    Yes, there indeed is the real crux of the matter, eh, Tasmiya? Not just reading it, but actually acting on it, inshaAllah. And acting on it again and again and again, no matter how long it takes and no matter how many times we think we have failed at it.

  11. MysticSaint says:

    Mashallah! such beauty.

    thanks brother Irving for the link to this post.

  12. [...] Darvish: the Adab of the Sufi Path [...]

  13. mohammed aminuddin says:

    As – salamwalakum,
    I am interested in the path of sufism from my childhood so please guide me, i want to take “BAITH” and then walk on sufi path as u guide me so please help me,
    Aminuddin

  14. Irving says:

    Alaikum Salaam Brother Mohammed:

    Alhamdulillah, that your heart has turned to the Sufi path. Please tell me where you live, and I will find a Sufi order near you, inshallah, for you to check out and see if the fit is right for you. You can also email me with any questions at this email address:

    Irvingk1945 at gmail dot com

    Ya Haqq!

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